The selection of Paul Ryan as a candidate for vice president, as well as three letters and at least one article in the Catholic Review (7/12 and 8/9) about the bishops opposing Paul Ryan’s budget cry out for under-reported background information. The bishops’ opposition to the Ryan budget was ultimately the work of one man, Sacramento Bishop Stephen Blaire. Not all of the bishops were in lockstep with Bishop Blaire.
Illustrating why the bishops should be concerned was his answer to the National Catholic Register’s question “Were the principles (Catholic social doctrine) poorly understood or poorly applied?” He replied “The principles of social justice have to do with basic needs: housing, hunger, employment. I don’t have his budget in front of me.”
His “basic needs” are not among the terms in the discussion of Social Justice in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (see 1928 through 1948). His letters opposing the Ryan Budget should have had competently staffed packages supporting the conclusions of his letters before he signed them.